Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
IT is refreshing to see a strong and safe production of Antony and Cleopatra, which also carries the qualities of good theatre, on the RSC’s stage – after the previous one seemed cursed from the outset.
In Michael Boyd’s 2010 Courtyard Theatre production not only did his leading man Darrell D’Silva shoot himself in the hand (not the foot, as many actors do when playing such demanding roles), but his leading lady Kathryn Hunter quit the production while it was still running.
Not to be deterred, Boyd (former artistic director of the RSC) brought it back to the Swan Theatre, stripped of its elaborate set, with Katy Stephens as Cleopatra.
This may seem irrelevant to the current production now running in the Swan Theatre – a co-production between the RSC and The Public Theater, New York and GableStage, Miami. Not so.
It was Boyd who forged the link with award-winning playwright and director Tarell Alvin McCraney, who directs this new production.
McCraney has certainly stripped this production – this time of some of Shakespeare’s text, yet his interpretation is poignant and moving.
There are no gimmicks here, just straightforward solid acting, with no primadonnas upstaging their fellow emsemble. But back to McCraney’s production. Here, he has not only a superb set, designed by Tom Piper, but an ensemble which allows each actor to come into his or her own.
Jonathan Cake, is a perfect triumvir as Mark Antony, who brings a believable passion to the stage, with Joaquina Kalukango as a desirable yet understated (in a good way!) Cleopatra.
Taking the duo imperium out of the equation, there were plenty of other strong performances in this small cast, particularly Chukwudi Iwuji as Enobarbus, who acted as the pivotal role in this production.
This Antony and Cleopatra has opened the doors to well performed gimmick-less revivals of Shakespeare’s best loved plays. Full of fine qualities – and virtually no defects.
Antony and Cleopatra runs until 30th November at the Swan Theatre.